Strengthening the Management and Leadership Skills of Head Start Administrators
The UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Head Start Management Fellows Program provides a unique opportunity for Head Start administrators to participate in a two-week intensive management training session, held annually at UCLA Anderson School of Management. This program is generously supported by Johnson & Johnson. Participants are selected through an application process to represent a cross section of all Head Start managers and programs. There are specific criteria for admission to the program which are noted with the application.
The program builds both executive and entrepreneurial management skills. Eighty hours of classroom instruction include lectures, group discussions, case studies, and workshops. Designed from a strategic planning perspective, subject materials from human resource management, organization design and development, finance, computers and information systems, and operations and marketing, the curriculum focuses on applying concepts to relevant Head Start needs and interests. The curriculum represents a course of study developed by UCLA faculty, the Program Advisory Board, and field research and focus groups.
Faculty members for the program are drawn largely from UCLA Anderson. Specific faculty from other UCLA schools, other universities, and practicing members of the Head Start community are selected based on the needs of each year's participants.
Graduates of the Fellows Program are awarded a certificate from UCLA and are given the option of receiving academic graduate-level credits or continuing education credits.
- Providing them with modern management theories and principles.
- Increasing their ability to plan, lead and control the effective delivery of Head Start services in an increasingly changing and challenging environment.
- Fostering an entrepreneurial competence and promoting a bias for action.
- Enhancing their capacity to find alternate funding sources and collaborate with other social service programs in their communities.
- Developing strategies that they can quickly implement in their programs and share with other Head Start managers.
- Establishing a network of Head Start Fellows who will assist in the management education of other Head Start directors nationwide.
The two-week residential program is held annually each summer. Participants are housed in private rooms at the UCLA Guest House, a small hotel on campus. All classes and workshops take place in the Anderson Complex on the beautiful UCLA campus. This six-building complex houses state-of-the-art instructional facilities and computer technologies. The campus environment provides an intellectually stimulating yet peaceful setting and offers an opportunity to explore numerous libraries, museums, art galleries and recreational facilities.
A number of special events are built into the program to establish communication networks among Fellows. These activities will vary from year to year but have included a welcome reception and dinner, a dinner at Malibu beach, barbecue, and "Johnson & Johnson Night," a celebration held on the graduation evening of the program. Throughout the program, several guest speakers contribute to the discussion of Head Start management issues.
During the two-week program, Fellows develop an invaluable network that they continue to draw upon long after they return to their own programs. An important part of the program's networking strength is an annual Advanced Management Institute (AMI). This four-day training, held each winter at UCLA, offers advanced-level workshops on many topics and a public policy forum to deal with current issues facing the Head Start community.